Marriage consists of give and take. It takes compromises, patience, understanding, and love. We are so accustomed to give up, and give in, when things don’t run smoothly. Marriage is never easy, but there are people out there who make it work.

In an article by NY Daily News, a study on lasting marriages found that, “…happier marriages tended to inspire healthier habits and better coping mechanisms, such as encouraging each other to seek medical attention when needed, sleeping better, drinking less, and supporting each other after a stressful day.”

Here are 6 habits of happily married couples:

1. They have their own interests and hobbies.

You are married, but not attached at the hips. Happy couples have their own way of creating enjoyment through separate interests, hobbies and entertainment. They can make models, go fishing, paint, write, go hiking, and other forms of events without their partners. They each have time to be alone and cherish what fulfills and brings them joy. Whenever they share together, they don’t feel as if they lost a part of themselves because they are committed to keeping their individualism intact.

2. They are each other’s support group.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” Marriages that are based on deep friendship stand the test of time. Finances, illnesses, and other challenges are tackled together rather than apart. Teacher and author, John Dufresne says, “You can always tell a happy marriage.

People in love begin to acquire each other’s traits, each other’s styles- they begin to look and act alike. They want to please. They admire each other and, naturally enough, want to become what they esteem and cherish.”

But, it’s not just the support that they give each other. Happily married couples truly enjoy reaching goals together. They plan things out and discuss without putting the other person down. They might not always agree, but happy couples truly find a way of reaching a middle ground for support and commitment.

3. They give each other pleasure.

Physical intimacy is not the only thing that brings pleasure to these couples. Happily married couples give their time to each other. They send daily texts, make special moments count for no reason at all, and let their partner know that they matter. They bring home sweet desserts or flowers or tickets to a concert. There is an admiration of sorts that increases with each passing year.

They do things for one another just because the person doesn’t enjoy doing it: pumping gas in the wife’s car, taking out the trash, doing his laundry, bathing the dog, etc. It’s in the smallest of details that they thrive and connect with a deep sense of appreciation.

4. They put each other first.

Even when having children, happily married couples put each other first. And, together they raise a family. At the end of the day, it is their union that makes it through all the challenges in their lives. Work and other forms of daily stress can take a toll on relationships, but these couples make time to cuddle, share, and release the stress. They are not afraid of showing up and being vulnerable with each other. It’s important to take time to acknowledge each other. Happy people make each other happy because they know not to sweat the small stuff.

5. They have a separate group of friends.

It’s healthy to keep your own friendships that aren’t involved in your marriage. Happy married couples have separate gatherings with friends, they travel separately, and go to events without the other. There is no jealousy or insecurities because they know that at the end of the day they come home to their best friend. It’s important to have your alone time as well as time with people who share similar interests.

The long lasting relationships are based on trust and mutual understanding that you are not alone in this life to just cater to one another. These couples go out and have fun with others and do not feel guilty about it. It’s very healthy to continue doing the things that enrich you with others because you get to come home and share with your loved one.

6. They don’t sacrifice their relationship.

Divorce is not an option they take lightly. This is for better and for worse. Happy married couples do not make decisions apart. They make them together. There is no one size fits all in a relationship. Marriage can be a roller coaster of a ride but when you know you have committed to your soul mate you make that a priority. The work these folks put in stops being “work” because it is a companionship. It’s a matter of trust, respect and ultimately love and acknowledgment that makes a happy long lasting marriage.

As author, Elizabeth Gilbert says, “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

Related article: 21 Rules For A Happier Marriage

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